Posted by Lea Nabipour on 2/19/2018

Although some families are more organized than others, most homes are plagued by at least a moderate amount of clutter.

While it may seem like only a minor annoyance, household clutter can have a major "ripple effect" on several aspects of your life. Disorganization and clutter can be insidious problems for homeowners to deal with because its impact is not always obvious.

When you stop and think about it, having a cluttered home can take a heavy toll on everything from your finances to your family relationships. Here are a few reasons to set aside some time, this month, to begin decluttering your home.

Time and Money: One of the most frustrating experiences in life is to try to find a misplaced tool, an important document, or anything you might need to complete a task, solve a problem, or meet a deadline. When you add up the hours you and your family spend on searching for items that are stuffed in drawers or buried in closets, it becomes increasing clear why everyone's productivity is down and stress levels are up. You may have also noticed that you're spending money on personal and household supplies that you already have somewhere in the house.

If you've lived in your home for more than a few years, you've probably accumulated stacks of clutter in every imaginable storage space. Three ways to drastically reduce the amount of clutter in your home in a relatively short period of time is to either sell, donate, or throw away things you no longer need. The first step, of course, is to sort through your belongings to separate what's useful from what's just taking up valuable space.

Although organizing a garage sale can be a time-consuming activity, the benefits can far outweigh the time and effort involved. Preparing for a garage sale not only results in finding valuable things you forgot you even had, but your home will end up feeling cleaner, more spacious, and more welcoming. As long as you don't hold a garage sale every year, it can be a fun and profitable family activity.

Another alternative to storing things at home that you no longer need or want is to donate them to a charitable organization, such as The Salvation Army. Churches, veterans groups, and other community organizations often accept donations of clothing, furniture, electronics, appliances, and other household items. Making a few trips to nearby clothing collection bins is another way to unclutter your closets and pass along useful things you no longer need.

One type of clutter you can neither sell nor give away is "junk." If you have enough of it, you might consider renting a dumpster or calling a reputable, reasonably priced junk hauling service. Regardless of the method you use to get rid of things you no longer want, you'll be amazed at how energizing it can be to restore order, cleanliness, and a sense of pride to your living space!

Posted by Lea Nabipour on 2/12/2018

Fireplaces can serve as a focal point in a room, provide a source of heat and add to the comfort of your home. They can also help you to save on energy costs. There’s so many different kinds of fireplaces that you can either install or find in a home. If you’re shopping for a home, you may want a home with a built-in fireplace. You don’t necessarily need one to get all of the benefits that a fireplace can provide. There’s different types of fireplaces that are made to suit the many different needs of homeowners. Here, we’ll show you some different kinds of fireplaces along with their pros and cons. 

Wood Fireplaces 

The most commonly thought of fireplace is the wood-burning fireplace. This will be built-in to your home, or you can install them in your home to use as a heat source. You may even install a wood stove in the upstairs part of your home and another in the downstairs in order to keep an even heat throughout the home. In some homes, however, just one wood stove is enough to heat the entire house! 

This type of fireplace requires maintaining from time-to-time including cleaning the chimney. You’ll also need to clean out ash from the inside of the fireplace. The material that’s being burned- wood, needs to be stored somewhere. Rain and inclement weather can cause a problem, as you’ll need to dry the wood some before it can be burned effectively. You’ll need a screen to protect you and your family from the ash and embers that may be blown around form the inside of the fireplace while it’s burning wood. These fireplaces are advantageous for a classic look and feel but can often be a pain to clean.   

Gas Fireplaces 

If your home is fitted with a gas fireplace, you’re lucky because these types of fireplaces are cleaner and provide a more even heat source. Gas fireplaces, true to their name, burn gas instead of wood. A vented gas fireplace will look very similar to that of a wood- burning fireplace. There is a firebox present in the chimney that allows for ventilation with these types of heating sources. You can use a variety of things to give the appearance that you are “burning” them in a gas fireplace. This includes beads that will bring flames up and ceramic logs that appear just like the logs that would be present in a wood-burning fireplace. You can even easily convert a gas burning fireplace to a wood burning one. This is, if you seem miss cleaning up all of the ash that they create!   

Direct Vent Fireplaces

These fireplaces don’t require a chimney. They draw in outside air and feed off a gas line that’s attached through the wall. The flame of these fireplaces is secured behind a piece of glass. The big advantage to these kinds of fireplaces is that they emit a large amount of heat and don’t lose much heat in the process, since there’s no chimney to lose air through.  

Faux Fireplaces

If you choose, there’s a variety of options that you have in getting a fireplace that doesn’t actually create a flame at all. These fireplaces are typically run on electricity and give the same effect of a fireplace but are much easier to install anywhere in your home. Consider these if you really would like a fireplace without the hassle!

Posted by Lea Nabipour on 2/5/2018

Let's face it – paying monthly rent for your tiny apartment is no longer feasible. Instead, you need a bigger place to live, i.e. a house that you can enjoy for years to come. As a first-time homebuyer, exploring the real estate market may sound like a fun, exciting opportunity – and it is! However, you need to prepare for the housing market, and by doing so, you'll be able to improve your chances of finding your dream residence quickly and effortlessly. So what does it take to find the right home? Here are three ways to boost your chances of buying your ideal house: 1. Save Money Before You Buy a Home. You'll likely need to find a lender that can offer you a mortgage with an interest rate that fits your budget. And if you save money before you buy a house, you could improve your chances of getting a mortgage with a lower interest rate. Typically, having enough money to cover several months worth of a home's mortgage may make you a better candidate for a mortgage than other potential homebuyers. It also is important to keep in mind that saving money now may help you pay closing costs and other fees that frequently arise during the homebuying process. 2. Look at Both Your Income and Debt. Ideally, you'll want to establish a budget as you prepare to explore the real estate market, as this will allow you to determine which houses you can afford. When you create your budget, be sure to consider both your annual income and outstanding debt as well. Evaluating these factors will enable you to better understand your yearly expenses and ensure you're able to search for homes that fit your budget perfectly. Don't forget to consider your future earnings as you develop your budget, too. For instance, if you're a student who already has a job lined up after graduation, you may be able to handle a larger monthly mortgage payment. On the other hand, if you have a baby on the way, you may want to account for the expenses associated with a newborn as you pursue a residence. 3. Monitor Your Credit Score. For homebuyers, your credit score reigns supreme in the eyes of lenders. Thus, spending some time monitoring and improving your credit score may make it easier for you to move one step closer to landing your dream house. Remember, you're eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) annually. And if you review a copy of this report, you can understand where your credit score currently stands. If your credit score is low, you can improve it by paying off any outstanding debt. Furthermore, if you find an error in your credit report, be sure to notify the agency that provided the report to you to ensure you can fix this mistake; otherwise, the error could impact your ability to buy a house. Being a first-time homebuyer sometimes can be challenging. But if you use the aforementioned tips, you may be able to bolster your chances of purchasing your dream residence.

Posted by Lea Nabipour on 1/29/2018

Home showing preparation is key for any homebuyer. In fact, if you know how to get ready for a home showing, you may be better equipped than other buyers to assess a house and determine whether to move forward with an offer to purchase.

Ultimately, there are many ways that a homebuyer can prepare to attend a home showing, and these include:

1. Create a List of Questions

A home listing provides plenty of information, but it also may leave many unanswered questions about a house. Fortunately, if you craft a list of questions about a home prior to a showing, you can gain comprehensive home insights during this showing.

There is no such thing as a "bad" question to ask about a house during a showing. Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you may complete in your lifetime. And if you prepare a list of questions before a showing, you can take an informed approach to this showing and gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.

2. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market constantly fluctuates, and a real estate sector that favors homebuyers one day may favor home sellers the next. Thus, it generally is a good idea to study the housing sector closely to determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market.

In a buyer's market, there is no shortage of high-quality residences available. And if you attend a home showing in a buyer's market, you may be able to take your time to decide how to proceed with a residence.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is an abundance of homebuyers and a limited number of top-notch residences. This means you likely will need to act quickly if you want to acquire a deluxe residence following a showing in a seller's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

The housing market can be complex for both experienced and first-time homebuyers. Luckily, real estate agents are available who can offer expert guidance at a home showing and ensure you can achieve the best results during your home search.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to acquire a home in any housing market. As such, he or she will help you plan ahead for a home showing and guarantee you can obtain in-depth home insights during this event.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you find houses in your preferred cities and towns and submit offers on residences. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to any of your homebuying concerns and questions.

Take the guesswork out of attending a home showing – consult with a real estate agent today, and you can get the support you need to discover your dream house in no time at all.

Tags: buying a home   showing  
Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Lea Nabipour on 1/22/2018

Life is complicated; however, your moving day experience does not have to be this way. In fact, there are many ways to avoid a complicated moving day experience, and these include:

1. Plan Ahead As Much As Possible

When it comes to moving day, it pays to be prepared. Thus, if you plan ahead as much as possible, you can identify any potential moving day pitfalls and address them before they escalate.

Pack as many items as you can before moving day – you'll be glad you did. If you pack in the weeks and days leading up to your move, you can avoid the stress of last-minute packing.

Also, box and label all of your personal belongings. This will make it simple to safely pack all of your personal belongings into a moving truck and find these items as soon as you reach your final destination.

2. Get Plenty of Rest Before Moving Day Arrives

Moving day likely will be a long, arduous experience, regardless of how much you plan for it. Conversely, if you get a good night's rest before moving day, you can kick off your move feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.

In addition, you should start your moving day with a healthy breakfast. This will give you something to look forward to on moving day, and the breakfast itself will provide you with plenty of energy to help you seize the day.

Don't forget to plan regular breaks as you complete your move. If you do not take a break every once and a while, you risk wearing down quickly on moving day.

3. Hire a Moving Company

There is no need to leave anything to chance, especially if you're planning a big move. Luckily, moving companies are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these businesses employ highly trained moving professionals to assist you in any way possible.

If you intend to hire a moving company, don't wait. Remember, the longer that you wait to employ a moving company, the less likely it becomes that this business will be available when the big day arrives.

Furthermore, you should check out a variety of moving companies in your area. This will enable you to examine various moving companies' strengths and weaknesses and determine which business can fulfill your moving needs.

If you need extra help determining whether a moving company is right for you, it never hurts to reach out to the business directly. In most instances, a moving company can provide client referrals that can help you make an informed decision.

Lastly, for those who are uncertain about how to prepare for a move, it may be helpful to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you buy or sell a house, along with provide insights into what it takes to complete a successful relocation.

Want to enjoy an uncomplicated moving day experience? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can reap the benefits of a seamless transition from one address to another.

Tags: moving tips   moving   moving day  
Categories: Uncategorized